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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wannabe reloader here, hopefully start cranking next month. Trying to get a head start, I have read/am reading various reloading manuals, currently on Lyman's 49th edition. Lyman strongly recommends reloading brass that you bought new and NOT to buy commercial "once fired" brass because you don't know its actual history. Comments? Opinions? Experience?
 

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There is only one negative with buying once fired brass you don't know what it was shot out of. If it was shot in MG of some sorts, the brass may be stretched more than if shot in a bolt or semi-auto weapon. Machine Gun chambers are notorious for being over sized. Now I have reloaded thousands of rounds that I personally shot thru my machine guns. Never had any problem shooting the reloads in my bolt/semi-auto weapons. But here is the down side, I have browning beltfed MG in 30-06. I have found that the maximum number of reloads that the brass can handle is 2 + the original load. After 3 reloads, the brass has been stretched and sized way to much and I begin experiencing case separations (average 3 out of 100). If I reload a fourth time, the case separations go way up 20 out of 100. Now for 5.56x45, I can easily get 4 reloads with no apparent problems.
 

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Well, knowing exactly were the brass came from and how many times it was fired is certainly a plus. That said there are plenty of reputable brass dealers online that guarantee quality. I buy both new and used brass, never had a problem.
 

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Are you reloading 223? Pistol? Like mentioned above, you can get good brass thats once fired from many sources. I have purchased lots of pistol and rifle brass from different forum members and only got questionable brass once.
If they state "Once fired " and list the head stamp you can at least make your decision from there. .40cal brass fired from an un supported chamber was questionable at one time. Brass from a full auto stay away from.

Good luck, reloading is fun and very rewarding if you keep focused. Your reading has you on the right track. Lots to learn.Ask lots of questions, none are stupid,ever! We all had to learn at one time.

Mike
 

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I have reloaded thousand of 40Cal fired from a auto and have never had any trouble!! So don't let any one tell you diffrent. Clean resized and load. ==Good Realoading ==
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
To all,
Thanks for the responses so far. Y'all are very helpful. I had planned to order some once fired brass from TopBrass/Scharch.com,as they seem to have a good rep as far as I can tell. The Lyman manual gave me second thoughts, but after your responses, I'm back on track for ordering the once fired brass.

myg30,
I'll start out loading 9mm Luger ball ammo as a learning tool, so to speak. When I get a little more confidence in my ability, I'll move up(?) to .223 Rem. Those will be my 2 mainstay calibers. Eventually will do some .45 ACP and .308 Win and maybe a little bit of .300 Wby Mag.
 

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TopBrass is as good as any, they are good people. When purchasing used 9MM and 223 brass make sure you are not getting used Military brass. They have crimped primer pockets and take a little more case prep.

Now that yuou have your brass, what about bullets?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Now that yuou have your brass, what about bullets?
Bullets? You can buy once fired bullets? J/K :D

To get my feet wet, I'm thinking of starting out with 9mm FMJ by Rem, Win and Hornady, mostly because I'm familiar with those names and that ammo. Will see which of those are more accurate in my world, then go from there. I'm not a match shooter, but like everybody, I do like small groups. Should I be looking at Sierra, Barnes or others instead at this point? I won't be loading my own ccw ammo, although after I get the standard ball ammo down pat, I will probably duplicate my carry ammo for SD practice ammo.
 

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just my opine - if shooting any straight walled pistol rounds buy factory fmj when it's on sale at bulk prices and save the hulls for reloading if your time is worth anything.
particularly for 9mm slugs if you buy in bulk Rem Golden Saber is about the best you can get and good price too. it shoots the best in all pistol chamberings I have. it's only about $1.75 more than fmj per 100. highly touted in 'box o'truth' too.
 

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New brass would be nice but once fired is much cheaper. And then there is the brass you can sometimes pick up at the range. I've reloaded both of the latter but always inspect each case as I'm reloading. Weeding out the rejects isn't difficult.

A good reloading manual will tell you what to look for when inspecting a case.
 

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I've loaded range pickups as well as those I've fired myself and have had no problems. For over 20 years that's about all I use.

The .380, 9MM, .40 and .45 cases seem to last forever as long as you stick to published data and don't over expand them. Longer cases like .38, .357, .44Spl, .44 Mag and .454 Casull will split at the mouth sometimes, but more often if they're nickeled.

I don't do match shooting and range pickups work fine for my needs, but rifle brass may pose a problem if you load for accuracy. I still use pickups for those too, but out of my milsurps it's no big deal.
 

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just my opine - if shooting any straight walled pistol rounds buy factory fmj when it's on sale at bulk prices and save the hulls for reloading if your time is worth anything.
particularly for 9mm slugs if you buy in bulk Rem Golden Saber is about the best you can get and good price too. it shoots the best in all pistol chamberings I have. it's only about $1.75 more than fmj per 100. highly touted in 'box o'truth' too.
It depends on what your shooting the straight walled pistol rounds in. My 9mm subgun goes thru 750 / minute. If I don't reload, I can't aford to shoot it. If I get a good price on factory rounds, I will buy, but its hard to beat the price of reloaded 9mm.
 

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You can get 5.56 LC 09 brass, new for $150. per thousand, why bother with an unknown piece of brass. It's not worth the money. If you are using reasonable loads, there is no reason you cannot re load it 8 times.

John K
 

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There was a test on all brass and LC was rated 4 and REM and WIN was down at 8 and 9 so do not be afraid of MIL brass FED was around 5 LAPUA was 1 the best.
 

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I purchased a couple thousand .308 once fired. I would assume machine gun ammo. It was pretty dirty, but cleaned up nicely. It fit into my Wilson Gauge before it was re-sized so it was stretched out too much. On the bad side I had to trim every one of them. But a power trimmer made short work of it. I still hate trimming brass.

The best deal in town was my friend on the military shooting team. He would bring me new loaded M855 ammo. I would pull the bullets, dump the powder and give the empty primed brass back to him. After his matches, he would give me back the fired brass. I would cut the loads by 10% and put the bullets back. I loaded and fired a bunch of these. Wasn't so much a deal as a service. He got to load the brass with heavy match bullets and his favorite powder. Plus it saved him a bunch if time. I got free powder, brass, projectiles, and other recyclables.
 
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